Braves’ Brian McCann won’t be ready for Opening Day

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann said his shoulder is feeling good, but doctors won’t clear him for “full-on playing in games” until April 15, reports David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

McCann underwent shoulder surgery in October which carries with it a six-month recovery period. He’s approaching the four-month point, and the middle of April is the projected end of his required rehab.

McCann described his current and upcoming routine to reporters:

“Just started hitting off a tee," said McCann, who is aiming for a return as soon as he's cleared to play, probably around April 15. "I started throwing last week, from 45 feet. Sixty feet this week. I’ve thrown a total of six times. Next week hopefully at 90 feet, and just go from there. I’ve got to build my arm strength back up.”

While he’s not expected to start the regular season with the Braves, McCann should see controlled action in minor league spring training. 2013 is a huge year for the veteran backstop, as he’s in the last year of his contract.

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